United Kingdom

United Kingdom

ORE Catapult completes Samsung 7MW purchase

UK: Industry research body ORE Catapult has completed the acquisition of the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) 7MW prototype turbine installed at Levenmouth, east Scotland.

ORE Catapult has acquired the 7MW turbine at Levenmouth, Scotland from Samsung Heavy Industries
ORE Catapult has acquired the 7MW turbine at Levenmouth, Scotland from Samsung Heavy Industries

ORE Catapult said the turbine will become the "world's most advanced, open access offshore wind turbine dedicated to research".

South Korean-firm Samsung decided to sell the turbine after it conducted a review into its European offshore activities.

In October 2014, it was revealed SHI had closed its European offices and was planning to downsize its wind business in its home market.

Construction of the 7MW, 171-metre rotor turbine was completed in October 2013, and it was commissioned in early 2014.

A spokeswoman for ORE said there had been a lot of interest from national and international parties on possible research opportunities on the turbine, which uses 83.5-metre blades.

Currently, however, ORE said it is working on a research agenda and a familiarisation period on the turbine, in cooperation with SHI.

"We are looking at a number of potential research and development projects covering multiple areas of offshore wind operations, including blades, drivetrains, electrical infrastructure and condition monitoring," the spokeswoman said.

Scottish consultancy SgurrEnergy has been appointed the operations and maintenance contractors for the turbine.

Blade Dynamics has expressed an interest in using the turbine to test its 78-metre modular offshore blade.

A prototype of the blade is currently undergoing a six-month structural testing campaign in order to achieve type certification at ORE Catapult's facility in Blyth, northeast England.

However, US-based conglomerate GE acquired Blade Dynamics in October. ORE Catapult said the decision to put the modular blade — now owned by GE — on the Samsung turbine would be decided by the American firm.

GE could instead opt to use the prototype 6MW Haliade turbine currently operating at the Nobelwind offshore site in Belgium. GE acquired the Haliade turbine in the process of its merger with Alstom's power business, which was completed in November.

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